The Mahabharata Home
"Vyasa said, 'Those that are conversant with the scriptures behold, with the aid of acts laid down in the scriptures, the Soul which is clothed in a subtile body and is exceedingly subtile and which is dissociated from the gross body
in which it resides. 1 As the rays of the Sun that course in dense masses through every part of the firmament are incapable of being seen by the naked eye though their existence is capable of being inferred by reason, after the same manner, existent beings freed from gross bodies and wandering in the universe are beyond the ken of human vision. 2 As the effulgent disc of the Sun is beheld in the water in a counter-image, after the same manner the Yogin beholds within gross bodies the existent self in its counter-image. 3 All those souls again that are encased in subtile forms after being freed from the gross bodies in which they resided, are perceptible to Yogins who have subjugated their senses and who are endued with knowledge of the soul. Indeed, aided by their own souls, Yogins behold those invisible beings. Whether asleep or awake, during the day as in the night, and during the night as in day time, they who apply themselves to Yoga after casting off all the creations of the understanding and the Rajas born of acts, as also the very puissance that Yoga begets, succeed in keeping their linga form under complete control. 4 The Jiva that dwells in such Yogins, always endued with the seven subtile entities (viz., Mahat, consciousness, and the five tanmatras of the five elemental entities), roves in all regions of bliss, freed from decrepitude and death. I say 'always', and 'freed from death' only in accordance with the common form of speech, for in reality, that linga form is terminable. 5 That man, however, who (without having been able to transcend them) is under the influence of his mind and understanding, discriminates, even in his dreams, his own body from that of another and experiences (even then) both pleasure and pain. 6 Yes, in even his dreams he enjoys happiness and
suffers misery; and yielding to wrath and cupidity, meets with calamities of various kinds. In his dreams he acquires great wealth and feels highly gratified: accomplishes meritorious acts, and (sees and hears, etc.) as he does in his wakeful hours. Wonderful it is to note that jiva, which has to lie within the uterus and amid much internal heat, and which has to pass a period of full ten months in that place, is not digested and reduced to destruction like food within the stomach. Men overwhelmed by the qualities of Rajas and Tamas never succeed in beholding within the gross body: the Jiva-soul which is a portion of the Supreme Soul of transcendent effulgence and which lies within the heart of every creature. They who betake themselves to the science of Yoga for the purpose of obtaining (a knowledge) of that Soul transcending the inanimate and gross body, the imperceptible linga body, and the karana body that is not destroyed on the occasion of even the universal destruction. 1 Amongst the duties that have been laid down for the different modes of life including the fourth mode (or Sannyasa), these to which I have adverted, which have yoga for their foremost, and which imply a cessation of every operation of the Mind and the understanding, have been laid down by Sandilya (in the Chandogya Upanishad). 2 Having comprehended the seven subtile entities (viz., the senses, the objects of the mind, Mind, Understanding, Mahat, Unmanifest or Prakriti, and Purusha), having comprehended also the Supreme cause of the universe with the six attributes (viz., omniscience, contentment, unlimited comprehension, independence, eternal wakefulness, and omnipotence), and lastly having understood that the universe is only a modification of Avidya endued with the three qualities, one succeeds in beholding (guided by the scriptures), high Brahma.'" 3
215:1 'Conversant with the scriptures,' i.e., Yogin; 'acts laid down in the scriptures' are the practices connected with Yoga. Saririnam, the commentator takes, implies the Soul as invested with a subtile body; of course, Saririn as distinguished from Sariram generally means the Soul or the owner of the Sariram without reference to the body. Hence, the word cannot be taken as referring to the Soul as uninvested with the lingasarira.
215:2 I follow the commentator in his exposition of this verse. Sahitah is nividah; drisyamanah is explained as 'though unseen by the eye is yet realised through instruction and by the aid of reason.'
215:3 Tapah is rasmi-mandalam. Prati-rupam is pratyupa-dhi. Sattwam is sattwapradhanalingam. The sense, in simple words, seems to be that the Yogin beholds within his own body and those of others the Souls or Chits residing there as invested in subtile forms.
215:4 Both atmachintitam and karmajam rajas are governed by Jahatam. The first means all that is: 'kalpitah in self' i.e., the creations of the understanding or the mind, implying, of course, the objects of the senses or the external world. The second means kamadi vyasanam, i.e., the calamities constituted by desire, etc. Pradhanadwaidhamuktah is one who is freed from identity with Pradhana or the Universal cause; hence, the puissance that Yoga brings about. Such Yogins have their subtile forms under complete control under all conditions and at all times. They can enter at will into other forms. Sattwatma is linga-dehah.
215:5 Satatam qualifies anwitah. Nityam qualifies charishnuh. Sadanityah is explained by the commentator as in reality terminable, though the words always etc., have been used. The plain meaning of the verse is that Yogins, in their linga body, rove everywhere, not excluding the most blissful regions in heaven itself.
215:6 The meaning is this: like Yogins, ordinary men even have the linga-sariram. In dreams, the gross body is inactive. Only the subtile body acts and feels. The Burdwan translator misunderstands this verse completely.
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